Suffering from Overwhelm

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New collaborations, new experiments, new colleagues, new structures and rules at your work environment, stress at home, conflict in your partnership….it can feel like we are drowning. Too many things at once …

What to do? How to get back on track and keep hold of the reigns of your career?

First, breathe. Take a moment and relax as best as you can. You need to calm down before you can do anything.

Once you have managed to do that, you can get the insight, that you got so involved with every little aspect of newness, that you lost track of the bigger sight, the bigger vision, the overall goal. As my business coach Caroline Donahue said: “You lost track of the lighthouse because you were so involved and concerned with every wave coming at your boat.”

It is easy to lose the bigger vision if every new project requires intense focus and a lot of your attention and energy. But how can you manage everything and still keep the overview of where you are heading?

  1. Write your bigger vision on a piece of paper and hang it above your office desk or workspace. This will remind you what you are doing all of this for.
  2. Make sure all the things you are doing are part of the puzzle. Sort out the activities and projects that can wait and do not belong to the bigger picture. File them in a folder for later.
  3. Manage your time efficiently: Evaluate every project you are doing by its urgency and make a plan in which order all your projects should be approached.
  4. Communicate your bigger vision to colleagues or people you trust and discuss strategies to successfully conquer them all. Let them help you assess which ones are important and urgent and which ones can wait.

Keeping an eye on the bigger vision while micro-managing several projects is a skill every leader needs to have. Fulfilling these multiple roles in an efficient and productive way is the secret key to great leadership.

This week, I encourage you to take on the challenge of working on your bigger vision while keeping the more immediate goals in check. Play with switching the roles between bird’s eye view and ant’s labor and find out, when and how the best way to do so emerges.

And as always, let us know how it goes. We value your thoughts and comments and would love to hear from you.


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